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Archive for Sunday, August 6, 2006

White heads list of Hall inductees

Fans chant ‘REG-GIE, REG-GIE’ at Canton ceremony

August 6, 2006

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— The glory of the newest Hall of Famers' achievements was punctuated by a steady stream of tears and a singular chant:

"REG-GIE, REG-GIE."

Though a fair share of the crowd sported No. 8 jerseys in tribute to Troy Aikman, their passion Saturday was reserved for the late Reggie White.

The two joined former Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Warren Moon, John Madden, Rayfield Wright and Harry Carson as the newest inductees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

White's son, Jeremy, was White's presenter, and his widow, Sara, made the acceptance speech.

"Reggie was an honest, humble, honorable, dedicated, determined, passionate and caring man," Sara White said.

Fans stood and cheered for the Minister of Defense, including Aikman, Dallas' three-time Super Bowl champion quarterback.

"I too am saddened by the absence of Reggie White, a great player and a man who left us too soon," Aikman said. "It's an honor to be a member of the Hall of Fame class that includes five men I have so much admiration and respect for. They played the game the way it should be played, and John Madden coached the game the same way."

Sara White, wife of the late Reggie White, weeps after unveiling the bronze bust of Reggie White during the enshrinement ceremony. The event was Saturday at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Sara White, wife of the late Reggie White, weeps after unveiling the bronze bust of Reggie White during the enshrinement ceremony. The event was Saturday at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Moon became the first black quarterback in the Hall. The only one of the inductees not to win an NFL title, he captured five straight Grey Cups for the Edmonton Eskimos after being undrafted out of the University of Washington.

"I was not really invited to the combine and no coaches came out to give me workouts," Moon said. "It was a foregone conclusion quarterback was not in my future in the NFL, but changing positions was. I was going to play quarterback, and I was looking for somebody who would let me do that. Thank you Canada."

Moon returned to the U.S. as a free agent in 1984 and spent 10 seasons in the Houston Oilers' run-and-shoot offense. He also played for Minnesota, Seattle and Kansas City in 17 NFL seasons and passed for more than 70,000 yards (over 42 miles) before he retired at age 44.

"A lot has been said about me being the first African-American quarterback in the Hall of Fame," he said. "It's a subject I am uncomfortable with at times, because I want to be judged only as a quarterback. But significance does come with that, I accept that."

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